Technology as an inclusion method while facing the COVID-19 pandemic: the “Coronavirus-SUS” app

Credit: Unsplash

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Giulia Murillo Wollmann and Ms. Júlia Carolina Esteves de França, both medical students at the University of Joinville (UNIVILLE), Joinville (SC)-Brazil. They are affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Throughout time it has become inevitable for people to avoid technology in daily life, we live in an era of innovations and it’s no different in healthcare. New devices and tools are launched according to needs, during the pandemic many sectors had to speed up or put in order adaptations that permitted working in long distance formats.  Regarding the health scope, tech solutions are not always welcome, however, a phone app developed by the Brazilian government has presented itself as a very important solution for doubts about the new coronavirus.  

In a country where social inequality prevails, only a reduced number of people have access to solid information, in this context the “Coronavírus – SUS” app was created by an initiative of the Brazilian Ministry of Health. While facing a period of uncertainty, in which various information is released in a single day, it is important that the population has access to secure, up-to-date and easily understood sources. Only in this way is it possible to reach people from all social spheres, providing data in a way that fits their reality.

The app presents reliable information on the COVID-19, by showing prevention tips, and steps on what to do in case of a possible infection – contributing for a reduction in the number of unnecessary visits to hospitals and healthcare units, as well as indicating what is the closest health facility the patient can go to. If an individual is showing symptoms, there is a section of the application in which it is possible to select the disease signs, such as: cough, fever, body aches and difficulty breathing. Following that, questions like “have you had any contact with a suspect of COVID-19?” are popped, in which after answering, a logarithm informs the possibility of infection by the virus. From this result, the “Coronavirus-SUS” app will direct the person according to their answers, forwarding to a health unit closest to their home (which the app locates by GPS), staying at home and looking for an emergency room in case of worsening, among others.

Innovations such as this one come to present a new perspective on our use of technology, proving it is not only helpful but sometimes the only possibility to connect people and solve problems. With a scenario where social inequalities can make reaching a healthcare professional almost impossible, simple and accessible alternatives can have the power of saving lives. 

Hopefully, new tools like this one will be developed, allowing trustworthy information to reach patients and connect them with professionals when in need. This way, it will be possible to engage the population towards what’s happening and provide them access to basic and fundamental knowledge, which can be vital while facing periods such as the SARSCOV-2 pandemic, where prevention and self-care are of extreme importance. Lastly, as technology evolves, it is imperative that it is used as a facilitator and as an engine for reaching people, giving the population, of all social spheres, a chance to be included and informed.  

References:

Aplicativo Coronavírus SUS agora envia mensagens de alertas aos usuários n.d. https://www.saude.gov.br/noticias/agencia-saude/46628-aplicativo-coronavirus-sus-agora-envia-mensagens-de-alertas-aos-usuarios (accessed July 24, 2020).

Coronavírus: SUS lança app com informações da doença no Brasil | Rede de Escolas n.d. http://rededeescolas.ensp.fiocruz.br/coronavirus-sus-lanca-app-com-informacoes-da-doenca-no-brasil (accessed July 24, 2020).

Digital technologies critical in facing COVID-19 pandemic | UN DESA | United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs n.d. https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/policy/digital-technologies-critical-in-facing-covid-19-pandemic.html (accessed July 24, 2020).

About the author

This article was written exclusively for The European Sting by Giulia Murillo Wollmann and Júlia Carolina Esteves de França, both medical students at the University of Joinville (UNIVILLE), Joinville (SC)-Brazil. All authors are affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Student Association (IFMSA), the cordial partner of The Sting, and are members of the NUPEC committee. Scientific Research Nucleus. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the subject, nor The European Sting’s view.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

China’s stock markets show recovery signs while EU is closely watching in anticipation of the €10bn investment

4 bold new ways New York is going clean and green

COVID-19: What the evidence so far means for containment

Why income inequality is bad for the climate

2020’s ‘wind of madness’ indicates growing instability: UN chief

IQ scores have been falling for decades, new study finds

5 facts about global military spending

Are the G20 leaders ready to curb corporate tax-avoidance?

UN chief ‘deeply concerned’ by military escalation in northwest Syria

Libya: EU efforts should focus on protecting migrants, MEPs say

“Mental health in times of a pandemic: what can each individual do to lessen the burden”

Towards a tobacco free India

Online marketplaces can help close Africa’s skills gap

EU-Japan relations: Foreign Affairs MEPs back Strategic Partnership Agreement

There are now four competing visions of the internet. How should they be governed?

Is it true that the G20 wants to arrest tax evasion of multinationals?

European Commission launches infringement proceedings against the UK following its failure to name a candidate for EU Commissioner

The Great Reset and digital trust: 3 lessons on digital tools from the COVID-19 crisis

EU Justice Scoreboard 2018: justice systems’ key role in upholding the rule of law and EU values

Vestager vs. Google: a fight to ensure a competitive innovation framework

Trump’s denial of Paris climate agreement; the US Republicans lash out against the world

4 reasons cities should embrace Universal Basic Income

Time to measure up: 5 ways the fashion industry can be made more sustainable

rescEU assets mobilised to help Greece fight devastating forest fires

Italy should boost spending and strengthen cooperation and integration of employment services to help more people into work

Will Merkel ever steer the EU migration Titanic and restore her power in Germany?

High-tech or ‘high-touch’: UK survey gives clues to the jobs of the future

Wednesday’s Daily brief: Day 3 of anti-hatred summit, UNFPA turns 50, Ben Stiller #WithRefugees, updates on Abyei

Time to pay up: UN summit to push for development finance breakthrough

European Youth Forum @ European Business Summit 2015: Why interns should matter to business

EU lawmakers vote to reintroduce visas for Americans over “reciprocity principle”

It’s down to cities to limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2030

These are the best cities for tech

Drones are saving lives in Tanzania’s remote communities

COP21 Breaking News_12 December: Another sleepless night for the negotiators before Indaba meeting

Who is to pay for Trump’s trade war against China?

UN chief urges ‘active, substantive and meaningful participation’ on International Day of Democracy

Dutch voters reject EU-Ukraine partnership and open a new pandora’s box for the EU

Asia-Pacific ‘regional parliament’ underway to advance equality, empowerment, for more than four billion citizens

After globalization what? Europe’s long, straining shake-up post Davos wreckage

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Venezuela-Colombia baby breakthrough, Italy piles on rescue boat pressure, States must combat hate, Kashmir rights latest and a musical plea to combat CAR hunger

Why does the whole world want Britain to stay in the EU?

India’s agro-food sector has made strong progress, but a new policy approach is needed to meet future challenges, says new report by OECD and ICRIER

EU’s guidelines on net neutrality see the light although grey areas do remain

More countries are making progress on corruption – but there’s much to be done, says a new report

The future of manufacturing is smart, secure and stable

Mental Health: Role of the individual for their well-being in the pandemic

Is your business model fit for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

South Asia can become an innovation hub. Here’s how

Guterres condemns killing of Bangladeshi peacekeeper in South Sudan, during armed attack on UN convoy

Plan for troop pullback ‘now accepted’ by rival forces around key Yemen port, but fighting intensifying elsewhere, Security Council warned

3 vital skills for the age of disruption

The horrific trend of the anti-vaccine movement in Turkey

South Sudan’s peace process ‘precarious, but progress in being made’, Security Council hears

A Europe that protects: EU customs seized over 31 million fake goods at EU borders in 2017

A reflection of health inequity in recent epidemics

#TwitterisblockedinTurkey and so is Erdogan

TTIP fight round 6: last chance for the negotiators to finally open up as they touch the Brussels ring

Security Council resolution endorses moves towards long-sought Afghanistan peace

Environment Committee MEPs push for cleaner trucks and electric buses

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s